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Jennifer Ruskin

  • Title: Dr
  • Position: Deputy Academic Director of PACE - Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Qualifications: PhD (Macquarie University), MSc (London School of Economics), BA (University of Michigan)

Contact Details

Areas of Expertise

  • experiential learning
  • social entrepreneurs
  • entrepreneurial motivation
  • internships
  • small business start-up and expansion


Jennifer joined the Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) team in the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) in 2015. In her current role, she continues her research in social enterprise, entrepreneurship and work-integrated learning, while teaching Faculty-based units that provide an academic foundation for students completing work placements. Prior to joining PACE, Jennifer completed her PhD exploring the motivations of social entrepreneurs while teaching across a range of management, entrepreneurship and marketing subjects. Before her return to academia, Jennifer was Director of Client Services at Women's Economic Ventures, a microenterprise development agency in Santa Barbara, California. Jennifer's work in microfinance and small business development began when she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Haiti. She has also worked for Frost & Sullivan, a market research and consulting firm, in California and Save the Children in New Mexico and Haiti.

Professional Certifications:

  • Foundations in (e)Learning and Teaching with Macquarie University, Learning and Teaching Centre


  • PhD thesis: Giving Selflessly and Building Oneself: A Study of Social Entrepreneurial Motives and Rewards: (Macquarie University)
  • Master of Science in Development Studies: Environment and Development (London School of Economics)
  • Bachelor of Arts: International Relations (University of Michigan)

Research grants

  • PACE Development Grant (2015) Ruskin, J. & Carter, L. $9,172.69 for developing social enterprise partners for PACE in the Faculty of Business and Economics. Funds allocated for recruiting a Research and Partner Development Assistant, developing new partnerships and internship activities, and drafting guidelines for social enterprise activity development.
  • Macquarie University Post-graduate Research Fund (2013) $5,000 for Creation and capture of non-financial value in entrepreneurship: An embedded case study of social entrepreneurial motivation. Funds employed to present at one domestic conference (Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, 2013), participate in one international doctoral consortium (Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, 2013), and conduct a research visit to the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University's Saïd Business School.


journal toggle icon open Refereed Journal Articles

chapters toggle icon open Book Chapters

  • Webster, C. M., & Ruskin, J. (2012). Social network analysis. In R. G. Seymour (Ed.), Handbook of Research Methods on Social Entrepreneurship (pp. 150-169). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

conference toggle icon open Conferences and Presentations

  • Ruskin, J. & Webster, C. M. (accepted for 2016). A Social Exchange Perspective on Value Creation and Capture in Social Entrepreneurship: An Exploratory Case Study; Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, Gold Coast, Australia.
  • Ruskin, J., Webster, C. M., & Lundmark, E. (2014). Beyond prosocial and altruistic: Identifying other-oriented motives of social entrepreneurs. Paper presented at the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, Sydney Australia.
  • Ruskin, J. (2014). Stories of social entrepreneurial motivation. Seminar presented at Macquarie Graduate School of Management for the Big Friday of Social Entrepreneurship as part of the launch of the Master of Social Entrepreneurship.
  • Ruskin, J., & Webster, C. M. (2013). Money can't buy happiness: Intrinsic rewards of social entrepreneurs. Paper presented at the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Hobart, Tasmania.
  • Ruskin, J., & Webster, C. M. (2012). Measuring other-oriented aspects of social entrepreneurial motivation. Paper presented at the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Paper Development Workshop, Moreton Island, Queensland.
  • Ruskin, J., & Webster, C. M. (2011). Creating Value for Others: An Exploration of Social Entrepreneurs' Motives. Paper presented at the 25th Annual Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Wellington, NZ.
  • Ruskin, J., Seymour, R. G. & Webster, C. M. (2009) Motivations and Value Creation: A Comparison of Commercial and Social Entrepreneurs. 23rd Annual Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference. Melbourne, Victoria.

Professional Membership

  • Member of: Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM), Southport Australia
  • Member of: The Academy of Management, New York USA
  • Member of: United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Wisconsin USA

Research Interests

Jennifer's current research interests include social entrepreneurial motivation, social enterprise, rewards of entrepreneurship, exchange of value in entrepreneurship, impact of different modes of experiential learning, employability as an outcome from work-integrated learning.

Teaching Interests

Jennifer teaches a range of subjects in work-based learning, marketing, management and entrepreneurship. She is developing an experience-based entrepreneurship unit. She has taught the following units:

  • Professional and Community Engagement
  • Leadership and Community Engagement
  • Principles of Management
  • Entrepreneurship and New Venture Management
  • Social Marketing
  • Introduction to International Business
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Self-Employment Training (a community-based program)